Labour has launched its manifesto for women.
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Labour aims to
• Address the low pay that affects women most, by raising the Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019.
• Support women and men to better balance work and care, by extending free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours a week.
• Double paid paternity leave and increase paternity pay.
• Consult on allowing grandparents to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave.
• Work to close the gender pay gap, by requiring companies with over 250 employees to publish information on the gender pay gap and strengthening the law against maternity discrimination.
• Support healthy relationships by introducing compulsory sex and relationship education.
• Step up action to stop violence against women and girls, by appointing a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence, and providing more stable central funding for women’s refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.
• Lead by example in public life including through the use of all women shortlists in Labour party

Its specific policies are:

A Fair deal at work
• Increase the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour before October 2019.
• Promote the living wage with a tax rebate for firms who sign up in the first year of the next parliament.
• Strengthen the law against maternity discrimination.
• Abolish the Tory-led Government’s employment tribunal fee system.

Ensuring families’ work/care balance
• Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three and four year olds, paid for by an increase in the bank levy.
• Give parents a legal guarantee of access to childcare from 8am to 6pm, through their local primary school.
• We will protect the Sure Start budget, and open up an additional 50,000 childcare places by requiring Sure Start children’s centres to offer childcare.
• Double paid paternity leave to four weeks, and increase the level of paternity pay to over £260 a week.
• Consult on allowing grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave, enabling them to take time off work without fear of losing their job.

Tackling violence against women and girls
• Make age appropriate sex and relationship education compulsory in all schools.
• Appoint a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards for tackling domestic and sexual violence.
• Ban the use of community resolutions in domestic violence cases.
• Make changes to DNA retention, so that rape suspects have their DNA recorded and stored.
• Establish a National Refuge Fund and provide stable funding for rape crisis centres.

Working for equality in public life
• Remain committed to achieving a Parliament that better reflects the country it serves, including through the use of all women shortlists in Labour party parliamentary selection contests.
• Set a goal for fifty per cent of ministerial appointments to public boards to be women.
• Provide face to face careers advice in schools, ensuring that girls know that no ambitions are off limits.

If you agree with our policies, help us to secure a Labour government on May 7 – and support the campaign for Alex Sobel to win here in Leeds NW sign up now.

You can read Labour’s manifesto for women in full here http://b.3cdn.net/labouruk/23e5d9b49ea69fc0d4_idm6bh3yq.pdf

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